Heavy question, right? Is there even an answer to this question?
Work is hard. Some days it rocks. It clicks. It’s fun. Other days (many days?) it’s difficult. Adam made sure of that and God confirmed it in Genesis 3:17-19:
“To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.””
Genesis 3:17-19 NIV
Given this fact (that work is not cursed but it is hard), wouldn’t it be gratifying to see real purpose and meaning come from your difficulties at work? Assuming your response is an energetic YES, the question becomes HOW?
The answer is actually quite simple. The implementation, however, requires some time and discipline.
Last week, I opened my old journal. It was dated from September 1, 2012 through the end of 2014. When I began reading it, I was surprised. On almost every page I was thanking God for a blessing. But, just as frequently, I was sharing the real struggles I was having at work and at home. As I read what I had written from week to week, or even month to month, I was amazed at what I saw. More often than not, God was resolving these struggles!
Here’s the deal … if I had not written these things down I would have been robbed of going back and seeing the very hand of God moving in my life! Right there, in plain site, like a story unfolding in a movie, I could read and see God’s answer to my prayers.
For me, that is one of the greatest blessings I could ever receive. To actually see God’s love for me. His grace. His mercy. His plan for my life and work.
You see, the crooked lines that lay in front of us on a day-to-day basis become straight lines when we look over our shoulder!
You may be an avid journaler, in which case you can confirm what I’m sharing here. But, if you haven’t journaled, or you have taken a hiatus, I encourage you to start. Commit to it for three months and see if you don’t experience this phenomenon.
Here are some tips to get started. Many of you may have different approaches (share them in comments):
- What – I recommend a Moleskin. They even have an Evernote compatible version.
- When – Whenever you have some quiet time. Early morning, lunch break, in bed. I don’t journal every day, but I do write a few times each week.
- How – I capture salient, life-impacting blessings and issues. I write Bible verses that the Holy Spirit presses on me. Also, I reserve the last few pages for very specific prayer requests. Leave a blank line under each prayer request so you can circle back with answered prayer.
May you see how your crooked lines become straight lines at work!